Halifax (N.S.). City Home records

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Halifax (N.S.). City Home records

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  • Textual record

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Reference code

102-33 (Formerly RG 35-102-33A-C)

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  • 1802-1811, 1838-1965 (Creation)

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2.5 m of textual records

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Administrative history

The City Poor Asylum was renamed the City Home in 1907 and served to support and accommodate the city’s poor and indigent. The institution closed prior to 1972 when it was demolished. The City Home is known to have been managed by both the Charities’ Committee (ca. 1878-1940) and the Public Health and Welfare Committee (ca. 1940-19–?).

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Administrative history

The origins of Halifax’s Poor Asylum can be traced back to 1752 when a building on what is now Spring Garden Road became used as a workhouse to care for the city’s unemployed and criminal. In 1758 a bill passed to establish an asylum specifically for the poor. It was completed by 1759 but quickly came to house, in addition to the poor, senior citizens, orphaned children, mental patients, sailors, and medical patients. In 1867 the city and province cooperated to build another dedicated facility to house the poor and indigent of Halifax. The new Poor Asylum opened in 1869 and was located between Morris, Robie, and South Streets. Destroyed by fire in 1882, another building was constructed on the site of the former institution by 1886. The asylum’s name was changed to the City Home in 1907. Referred to as the Poor House, the Poor Asylum, and sometimes the Poors’ Asylum, the institution’s function was to accommodate, support, and relieve the city’s poor. During its years of operation the asylum saw a number of management changes. Known bodies to have managed the institution include the Commissioners of the Poor Asylum (ca. 1851-1866); Commissioners of the Hospital and Poors’ Asylum (ca. 1866-1878); and the Charities’ Committee (ca. 1878-1940). Records of this body are entered under the last name used by the body during the records' creation, and/or accumulation and use. For records of the Poor Asylum see also the later heading City Home.

Custodial history

Series transferred from NSARM to HRM in 2004 and accecssioned by the HRM Archives in 2005. Three additional registers (1941-1965) were donated by the Medical History Society of Nova Scotia in 2016.

Scope and content

Series consists of records created by the Halifax Poor Asylum and the Halifax City Home including account books and records of residents admitted and discharged. A small portion of the series was created by the boards charged with managing the asylum and city home.

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General note

The Henry S. Colwell fonds (see reference code CR-13) also contains correspondence on the City Home (primarily on the proposed extension).

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